New Minumum Wage Schedule
It took seven weeks of negotiations but the new tri-party agreement between The Government, The Private Sector and Trade Unions was announced as 12.5% to be paid in two stages; 6.5% from now and another 6 per cent from the 1st of September. The Agriculture Industry will get 13%, 7% now and 6% in September. The September increase will be ratified depending on any large or unforeseen economic changes before that date.
The average minimum wage for all ten sectors that are included in the negotiations is 3,274.75 Córdobas or US $141.15 dollars per month.
As well as agriculture being slightly different, Zona Francas have an existing agreement in place at nine percent and MSME’s (micro and small companies) with 5% from February 2012 and 5% in August. An estimated 100,000 or so workers in private industry and about 14,000 in the government sector are paid minimum wage.
The National Workers Front (FNT) were looking for an increase of 30 percent for farm workers and 16 percent for the other sectors. They did manage a partial victory in back pay getting a five and a half month first phase and a six month second phase, effectively only losing 2 weeks of the new increase. Future increases (2013) will be applied from the 16th of February, as required by law.